Sunday, January 7


Today my Casey and Jackie and the kids are coming over for a late lunch and o watch The Bears vs. Packers game. Aiden is almost 3 and Charlotte is 18 months so they’re at the very busy stage. I sill have some more house prepping to do. They’re such sweet kids. One of my goals for this year is to spend more time with all of our grandkids. You never know how much time you have left. When your number is drawn that’s it. Game over, cash in your chips. Peace out. More time with our kids, grandkids and my sisters,  more time with nature near water. Less stress, less drama.

We are taking a Bahamas / Key West 7- night cruise out of Tampa in May and another 7- night Alaskan cruise out of Seattle in August. We’re going to Gatlinburg and Asheville in July. I’m trying my best to get and stay healthier. I am SO blessed and stunned to still be kicking after coming so close to death in 2008 and circling the drain again in 2015. Really dumbfounding…..I am SO GRATEFUL. And oh also the heart attack in September of 22 - another strike against me. Soooo just keep swimming! 

Yesterday I made some frozen chicken breast tenders in the crockpot with onions, garlic, jalapeƱos and spices. Last night we had chicken tacos with the shredded up meat and piping’s. They were very good. The leftovers are going to be chicken salad and chicken tortilla soup. Now that the kitchen remodeling is finally done after at least four to five weeks of having it torn up I feel like cooking again. This week I’m going to try again making a sourdough starter. I did it last year but realized after about 2 weeks of daily tending that using regular tap water doesn’t work. Doh! I was so pissed off for a while but now I’m ready to try again. I’m also going to make some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies this morning. 

7:04 a.m. I made myself a third cup of coffee, fed the dog and opened all the window shades. I’m going to tidy up a bit and take Bitzi for her morning walk before I come back and make the cookies. Mike is still sleeping. He likes to stay up late at night watching TV ( falling asleep on the couch snoring). I need to go to bed by 10 or I feel awful. I usually wake up between 3 and 4 a,m. to use the bathroom and usually can’t go back to sleep so just stay up. By 8 or 9 pm I’m feeling twinkly and ready for bed. A nice hot bath in the evening helps me get sleepy. 

Every morning I read the Daily Herald newspaper and my Apple News feed on my IPad. It’s easier for me to read than actual newspapers since I can adjust the font, contrast and brightness. It seems to me lately most every story is embedded with all sorts of ads and links that zoom you somewhere else to try to sell you something. AND the story headlines seem interesting until you open them up to discover it’s just another friggin trap to get you to buy something. Everything is a sales pitch now! I’m tired of having all the ads shoved down my throat. I need more time out in the woods! 

Saturday, January 6

Saturday, Jan.6, 2024

I love mornings. Mornings are some of life’s most wonderful pleasures. Just the fact to wake up and be given another day, another chance, another blessing. Each day is filled with possibilities. You have to be able to see the miracles in all things. You have to be able to suck all the juice out of the life you’ve been gifted. You have to wake up and smell the coffee and connect with the universe and your spirit ancestors and angel guides. Count your blessings, not your sorrows. 

It’s 5:56am and I’ve been awake since about 4. As usual I tried to go back to sleep after I used the bathroom but I just couldn’t fall back asleep so I got up so I wouldn’t disturb Michael. He fell on black ice Thursday morning walking the dog. Although he never tells, me I knew he was sore yesterday. Falling when you’re older is much more serious than when you’re a kid. Last night we got some snow and the temperature has dropped so it seems like winter has finally arrived after so much mild weather lately.

The remodeled kitchen is looking much better than before. We still have to get the walls painted. Pete, the carpenter, installed a new electric fireplace and moved our wall- mounted TV up on the new panel he installed on the living room wall. We’re getting a new mantle next week. It looks really good. We brought a few things home from Mike’s mom’s house and have been rearranging furniture accordingly. We went and looked at a house for sale in our neighborhood the other day. It’s the same model as ours but has an extra bedroom and bathroom in the finished basement and it is on a quiet Culver’s-de-sac sitting on the edge of the golf course. It has NO updates at all. It had all the original 1999 carpeting and appliances and laminate counters. The kitchen had wood floors that needed refinished and cabinets needing replaced.We decided that we’ve done WAY too many updates to our current house to start over so we’re just going to continue improving this one to suit our needs. 

In the last few months I’ve gotten my shingles, Covid, flu and RSV vaccines. I got an immunoglobulin infusion at Loyola in November and December. I get another one on the 18th then 3 more until April when I go back to see my oncologist. I haven’t been subbing. I’m trying to limit my exposure to crowds (and humans in general…) in an attempt to be healthier. I need to ramp up my exercise and nutrition and be more consistent. I can always do short intense bursts of about anything but it’s the long haul stuff that’s the real challenge and true test of real change and improvement. Am I tough enough and mean enough? Can I switch in to full “ Rocky” mode? Tuesday I go for my annual check up with my family doctor (I already had the labs and they’re good). I seem to be getting more high maintenance! 

Tuesday, January 2

Early morning

I’m not sure why Mike got up just because I got up. I relish my early morning silent alone time. Shortly after I got up and came out to the living room he came out too. He obviously is still very sleepy (and grumpy). I just suggested he go back to bed. He didn’t answer as he’s evidently already fallen asleep sitting on the couch beside me. He doesn’t get it hat this is MY personal alone time. Oh well. It is what it is.

My intentions and goals for 2024 are to be healthier (do everything in my power to improve), be more open to things/ideas/ people (avoid becoming a snarly, pissy curmudgeon) and be more loving of all things.  Sounds easy, right? 

Mike’s mom, Annette, died on Dec.4. The family has made a lot of progress going through all her stuff but there still is quite a bit of stuff in her garage. Mike’s brother owns her townhome and has had guys in there cleaning and painting it last week to prepare it to be listed for sale. Annette had been fighting stage 4 lung cancer for a few years so the family had a long time to prepare themselves. The last few weeks of her life things got really bad and she was on hospice care and had a 24/7 caregiver and oceans of visitors. We went over to her townhome yesterday so Mike could gather her mail. He has the power of attorney and is paying bills and closing out her account. It’s so weird seeing the whole place (except for the garage) completely empty of everything. We brought home a cedar chest from the garage that had been Mike’s dad’s mother’s. We still have a loveseat and patio table to get. We’ll have to get a truck for those. This all brings up memories of going through my own parents’ things after they died. I guess it’s just the circle of life. We’re all going to die at some point.

Wednesday, December 27

Foot pain

Yesterday I put away all the Christmas decorations. It felt so good to clean up, as we’ve had piled up clutter going on for weeks from the kitchen remodel. The kitchen isn’t done yet but we’re nearing the end. We still have the backsplash to be done and touching up the cabinet paint. Next the carpenter is redoing my shower and also installing an electric fireplace and building shelves and a mantle in the living room. It will be really good when all that is completed.

Thursday morning- It’s nice and still and silent like I like it in the morning. Bitzi is curled up on the blanket on my lap. She love morning cuddles. 

A lot of the backsplash tile is up but there’s still about a fifth left to do. Then he has to apply the grout. He only works about four hours a day here so that’s why it’s taken so long.

I have developed some recurring pain in the top of my left foot. I suspect it’s from all the jogging in the pool and walking. I’ve had to be really careful the past week. Sometimes it’s very acute. It seems worse in the mornings. I need my foot. 

We have a very busy new year ahead. I’m hoping for much joy, love and prosperity for our entire family. I can see the blessings coming in my mind. I am rich beyond my dreams. 

Sunday, December 24


It’s 7:22 a.m. on Christmas Eve day. I am at my oldest daughter’s house and have been here a few days seeing family. I cherish the moments with them. I did not see my youngest son and his family because they have Covid. I pray they get over it quickly. ‘‘Tis the season for viruses going around. Shortly I have to change out of my pajamas and pack my stuff up and leave for home. When I get to Peoria I’ll stop and pick up my handicapped sister Vicki from her group home and take her out for lunch and giver her the presents. Then I’ll take her home and head north a couple hours until I’m back home. There has been pretty dense fog the past few days so I will have to be very cautious while driving. Tomorrow afternoon Mike and I are going to his son Casey’s house in Glen Ellyn. Mike’s daughter’s family will be there too. Our kitchen remodel is progressing but not completed yet. Seems like it’s taken forever….

Wednesday, December 20

Fum! Fum! Fum!

Early morning is my favorite time. I usually wake up by 5 a.m. I just feel better when I go to bed early and wake up early. I’m drinking coffee and just had a toasted bagel with strawberry cream cheese. We have to gather up the trash and recycling and take it out to the curb. Then we have to get things ready for the carpenter’s arrival so he can continue work in the kitchen. I need to clear out some more cabinets before he gets here. I miss my kids. I’m hoping to go see them Friday if nothing happens to get in the way. 

I just took a bunch more stuff out of the kitchen turntable and a utensil drawer and put it in a big sterility tub and drug it to the spare bedroom to get it out of the way for Pete, the carpenter, to continue his progress in the kitchen. He will be here soon. I’ll be so relieved when it’s done and I have all my stuff put back. No pain, no gain.

Mike is going over to his mom’s house today to pay more bills and help get things cleared out so they can paint and replace carpeting. His mom’s mass and after brunch were Monday. Over 200 people came. It was a beautiful tribute to her. There’s still a ton of stuff to be dealt with though. 
I had my second immunoglobulin infusion at Loyola yesterday. It was number two in the insurance-approved set of six. So far I have no after effects. It took several very painful sticks before the nurse finally found a cooperative vein for the IV in the top of my right hand. My veins are awful after all the chemo I’ve had over the years but thank God they finally got it. 

Sunday, December 17


It’s Sunday night. Tomorrow morning is the mass and celebration of life for my mother-in-law Annette. She passed away on Dec.4 but the service was set for tomorrow for out of state relatives. We have to get up early, get ready and leave for the church by 7:30. We have the mass cards and urn of ashes in the back seat of my car. She lived a wonderful, full life and was loved by so many. She had no pain at the end and passed on to rejoin Jerry.
Our kitchen is still all torn up and the house is a nightmare of piled up stuff BUT progress IS being made. Tuesday I have to go to Loyola for blood tests and another immunoglobulin infusion. Last month I was sick with flu-like side effects for a couple days after it. Hopefully I won’t have it this time. 

I had some weird dreams last night. I was meditating and somehow got tuned in to the universal spirit energy and had super great power. Scary power and I was overwhelmed and afraid. And then I woke up and felt like “ huh?”

Thursday, December 14

Morning brain

It’s 7:37am on Thursday, December fourteenth. I’m drinking a cup of Starbucks toffee nut coffee I bought yesterday, put in the fridge and warmed up this morning. It’s like we’re camping here with the kitchen torn up for remodeling. Almost all of the kitchen stuff is piled in boxes and stacked on the kitchen table in the family room. The man doing the remodeling work, Pete, works alone and only works from around 8am to 1:30 or 2, so progress is going as fast as I’d like. This is awful during the pre- Christmas days to have this big mess going on. Due to all the hullabaloo with Annette’s rapid worsening condition then death and everything that went along with it I guess I didn’t realize this was going to happen at this very inconvenient time. Now I just have to wait this out without having a nervous breakdown or getting arrested. The dust involved with this has been bothering my sinuses the last week and a half. I’m praying it will be wonderful once it’s done. I feel blessed we can afford to have it done. I know I have countless blessings in my life. I’m very fortunate. Pete, the carpenter, is a very nice man. He is a retired guy who lives here in Sun City and had his own construction company for many years. Now he works a few jobs with limited hours as is convenient for him and his wife. We are lucky to get this guy. 

Yesterday we went to a countertop store warehouse looking at quartz remnants and found a couple we liked. The clerk lady is supposed to email us her price. She was a horrible rude idiot and I don’t know how they stay in business. We then went to Floor & Decor to look at tiles and found some that we liked. 

Tomorrow is our chorus dress rehearsal at the church before Saturday’s concert. I’m excited! We rehearsed with the band Tuesday night and it was so good and exciting! After the concert Saturday afternoon we’re going to Mike’s family party in Plainfield. 

Monday, December 11

Onward, upward

Yesterday was our big neighborhood holiday lunch party. Overall things went well. I am SO relieved it’s over. I hope to not be in charge of next year’s party. 

The kitchen remodeling is continuing today. Pete, the carpenter, is working away in our kitchen. The house looks like a bomb went off. This is about the most inconvenient time to have this done! BUT I do feel fortunate we’re able to afford it and I know I’ll be happy once it’s all done. Just keep swimming!

I went to an 8am water aerobics class. Shortly Mike and I are going to IKEA in Schaumburg to get knobs and drawer pulls.